Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Yesterday I went in for my anxiously awaited blood test, to check if my hcg levels doubled as they should. The nurse practitioner told me we wanted to see a level of at least 240.
I left the office and drove to see my friend’s new baby, an hour away. Halfway there, I got so sleepy that I pulled over at the Petro station and took a nap in my car for a solid hour.
The phone ringing woke me up. It was Deborah (my special nurse), who said she was “smiling so big, I can hardly talk!” Needless to say, she had good news for me. Better news than expected. Instead of a measly 240, my hcg level was 3,515.8! In fact, my level was so high the nurse practitioner wanted to see me in for an ultrasound the very next day!
I was positively giddy. I called D and my mom and my sister and told them the news. I couldn’t stop grinning. This was the news I’d been waiting for – the proof that there was at least a reasonably good shot of this working out. I felt a weight off my chest.
Fully awake now, I resumed my drive. I spent the afternoon holding baby Andrew (such a sweetheart) and chatting with my lady friends, and after that I spent the evening watching Whip It (so fun!) with my friend Kristen.
Then today was the ultrasound. Fortunately, D got to come with me. The nurse practitioner fished around with the ultrasound wand as usual and came up with images like this:
She said breathtaking things like, “See that blob – that’s your baby,” and told us the black thing is the gestational sac and that it’s in the uterus where it should be. But at only 5 weeks, 1 day, there wasn’t much else to tell from the ultrasound.
I thought I might cry, or D might cry, but I felt more anxious than anything – holding my breath so I could catch every intonation of the nurse practitioner’s voice, waiting for something that would sound like bad news, or good news, or any kind of news really.
When it was over, she printed us a picture and said, “I don’t have anything negative to say!” Which I read more as, “The evidence is inconclusive” than “everything’s perfect!”
Nevertheless, I began to feel relief stealing over me like a warm blanket. Maybe I could relax a little! My fear of an ectopic pregnancy hadn’t been realized! Everything was okay for the moment!
But then, just as she was about to leave the room, the nurse practitioner popped back around the curtain.
“I don’t want to put a dim view on things,” she said – immediately dimming my view – “but it’s best not to tell anyone except your immediate family just yet. Until we see a heartbeat, anything could happen.”
We sat and stared at her, nodding slightly, looking guilty.
“So don’t go telling all your friends and buddies.”
We stared some more.
“You just don’t want to be saying, ‘I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant!’ and then have to go tell everyone … ”
Yeah. We get it.
I know telling people doesn’t jinx anything, and I don’t think it was the wrong decision for us, and I don’t regret it. But her edict about not telling anyone still totally sucked all the excitement out of the moment of seeing the blobby that is or at least probably will be our baby.
I know she means well (she’s a very nice lady), and I think she was trying to tell us not to take this one ultrasound as an absolute guarantee the baby will make it. But I didn’t need that warning. I worry enough on my own.
We go for another ultrasound on Monday, when I’ll be at 6 weeks, and we will probably be able to see a lot more, including a heartbeat, if everything goes well.
So, basically, now I have another week to wait and obsess. I thought I would feel so much more relaxed after leaping this hurdle, but somehow I still manage to be anxious.
Not to mention weepy, crabby, sleepy, and nauseated. I almost vomited in my car twice in the last two days and had to search around frantically for a puke receptacle, before the danger passed.
Apparently, I’m going to have to start carrying that pink hospital puke tray with me everywhere I go. But that’s okay. Bring on the vomit. Every time a wave of nausea hits me out of nowhere – and seemingly with no rhyme or reason to it at all – I feel a little more confident the blobby on the ultrasound will turn into a baby.
P.S. I have to mention, D accidentally referred to the baby as a “she” today. Maybe his psychic gender-determining powers are kicking in …